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There are entry level “100 series and 200 series” courses on how to understand, analyze and adjust financial statements, how to value a company and even a tax boot camp. Most that are taking these courses have the goal of taking the certification exam that allows them to become a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI). Then there are advanced level “300 series” M&A courses. For example, this year I’m enrolled in “Using the Balance Sheet as a Closing Tool”, and “Advanced M&A Research Techniques”. (I got my CBI a few years ago). I love the courses because even if I feel I know most of the material, I always walk away with at least a few good gems.
The best part of all this is that the industry seems to be embracing the importance of education. The CBI certification is becoming a standard, and as more brokers realize how important it is, they make the effort to spend the time, energy and money to take the 60 hours of courses to get it. The more brokers with CBIs, the more consistent and standardized financial statement adjustments and business-for-sale pricing would be. Not to mention a higher standard of practice.
Even other organizations realize the value of IBBA/M&A Source education. The California Association of Business Brokers, among other states, has decided to embrace the course work of IBBA instead of re-inventing it. In addition to having a real estate license, the state of
This is good news for business owners, many of whom tell me horror stories of past experiences with business brokers. Of course, having a CBI doesn’t automatically make someone a good and ethical intermediary, but it does mean they have the basic foundation of skills that is becoming the standard in the industry.
By the way, I frequently get questions from blog readers asking how to become a business broker. Working towards and finally obtaining your CBI is time consuming and fairly expensive (takes at least two week-long conferences), but it is the best thing you can do to get a head start and really learn the skills needed to succeed.